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Nigerian Activists Deliver Petitions to UN Mission

Nigerian Activists Deliver Petitions to UN Mission


Gay activists rallied outside the Nigerian Mission to the United Nations to oppose a law that would criminalize same-sex unions and threaten other far-reaching consequences.

Pink News reports on the action Monday in New York, where representatives from Nigerian LGBTQI in Diaspora and the All Out campaign delivered a copy of a petition signed by more than 60,000 people across the world. The petition urges President Goodluck Jonathan not to sign the law approved by the Senate this week.

"As the elected guardian of the human and civil rights of ALL Nigerians, I urge you to show respect for the diversity in our great democracy, and refuse to sign this bill," says the petition written by Nigerian public health advocate Ifeanyi Orazulike.

The pending legislation would impose prison sentences of up to 14 years for same-sex couples that attempt to marry, and punish people who assist the couples, such as witnesses, with up to 10 years in prison. Same-sex marriages and homosexuality already are illegal in Nigeria, where in some parts of the north, gays and lesbians can be stoned to death under Shariah law.

International human rights groups have expressed concerns that the bill could be used to target any kind of same-sex relationship including couples who live together, while also hindering efforts to deliver HIV and AIDS services. Last month, Pink News reports that Nigerian activists held a kiss-in outside the embassy in London to protest the bill.

Read the petition from All Out here.

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